Miss Earth PH apologizes for controversial remark, gives up crown

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Miss Earth Philippines Imelda Schweighart has quit the Miss Earth Organization, following a controversial statement she made about Miss Earth 2016 pageant winner Katherine Espin of Ecuador.

Schweighart drew criticism after a video of her talking to fans made the rounds online. In the video, she can be heard telling them, in Tagalog, that the pageant winner (Espin) has "peke ilong, peke baba, peke boobs" (fake nose, fake chin, fake boobs).

Carousel Productions, which owns the Miss Earth contest, confirmed Schweighart's resignation to CNN Philippines.

Read: Miss Ecuador crowned Miss Earth 2016

Executive Vice-President Lorraine Schuck met Schweighart and her mother on Monday to discuss the controversial video.

"They voluntarily resigned. She can't handle it anymore," Shuck said, adding that Mrs. Schweighart plans to take her daughter back to New Zealand.

Imelda, 21, said it was her mother who made the final decision about her resignation. She said her mother only wanted to protect her from online threats and bashing.

"You don't have to be careful with what you're saying. You have to be real because that's what people need," she said, explaining her controversial statements.

Schweighart was earlier criticized for another controversial remark, where she compared President Duterte to Adolf Hitler. She later apologized.

'If it's a crime to tell the truth, I'm sorry'

Schweighart earlier apologized for her "unmindful statement" about the newly crowned winner..

"If it's a crime to tell the truth, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend Miss Ecuador…I don't know her enough but she was my roommate," Schweighart told CNN Philippines.

Schweighart claimed Espin herself admitted going through cosmetic surgery. In the video, she said the pageant winner should be "natural."

Based on its guidelines for participants, the Miss Earth pageant does not expressly ban surgically enhanced women from joining the contest.

'Offended, not bitter'

The Filipina beauty queen was upset over having her video taken and posted online without her knowledge.

"Someone took a video from afar and posted online. A side of me that everyone has...You put a side of a person's integrity out there. What is that? Hindi makabayan 'yon [That's not patriotic]," she said.

She said she talked to her fans to get support because they "know the hurt I've been through" in the competition.

Schweighart failed to place in the pageant, breaking the Philippines' two-year titleholder streak.

"Honestly, I'm not bitter," Schweighart said.

But she was offended when the gown assigned to her was given to Espin.

"It wasn't explained to me at that time. I had nothing to wear. And then after that, I was still in the heat of the moment. Why did they do that to me? Di na nga nila ko inaasikaso [They don't even take care of me,]," she said.

Schweighart defended herself from her critics: "I wouldn't be in this industry if I have a bad attitude. I wouldn't endure the pain if I am what they say I am."

"Sabi nga ng kapatid ko [Like what my sibling said], one mistake is okay, but if it's repeated twice, it's a choice," the 21-year-old said.